IVF is offered on the NHS if certain criteria are met. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) fertility guidelines make recommendations about who should have access to IVF treatment on the NHS in England and Wales, however individual NHS integrated care boards (ICBs) make the final decision about who can have NHS-funded IVF in their local area, and criteria may differ or be stricter in different areas of residence.

If people don’t meet the criteria for their specific area (ICB), they may need to self-fund treatment.

At Hewitt Fertility Centre we welcome patients from across the Northwest and beyond, but this will sometimes mean that different criteria and entitlements apply.

The majority of our patients sit under Cheshire and Merseyside or Wales. If you are covered by another ICB, you'll need to check whether funding is available for treatments and whether you meet the relevant criteria.

Your GP will be able to advise on this or put you in touch with your own ICB. Please note criteria is subject to change by individual Integrated Care Boards so be sure to check their latest guidance for the most up to date information.

Entitlement to NHS funded IVF treatment for people in Cheshire and Merseyside

Funding criteria for fertility treatment varies across the country. Funding criteria for many patients attending the Hewitt Fertility Centre is set by Cheshire and Merseyside ICB.

The following criteria must be met:

  • The person undergoing treatment must have started treatment before her 40th birthday. One treatment cycle is available between age 40 and 42 provided no IVF has taken place previously.
  • The person undergoing treatment must have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of between 19 and 29.9.
  • Both partners must be non-smokers.
  • Neither partner must have any living children, from either the current or previous relationships. This includes adopted as well as biological children.
  • Sub-fertility must not be the direct result of a sterilisation procedure in either partner (this does not include conditions where sterilisation occurs as a result of another medical problem). Couples who have undertaken a reversal of their sterilisation procedure are not eligible for treatment.

Once a patient has been accepted for fertility treatment, they are no longer eligible for further NHS funded treatment - eg Frozen Embryo Transfer,  if a pregnancy leading to a live birth occurs. 

 

What is the Cheshire & Merseyside ICB funding criteria?

It is important to note that the criteria for NHS-funded IVF in your local area may differ from other areas of residence.

For people who are eligible for NHS funded IVF treatment, Cheshire & Merseyside ICB supports a maximum of up to three fresh IVF cycle (with or without ICSI).

In addition to above, you may be eligible to further NHS funded Frozen Embryo Transfers (FETs), but it is important to note that if any fertility treatment results in a living child, then the couple/patient will no longer be considered childless and will not be eligible for further NHS funded fertility treatments, including the transfer of any frozen stored embryos.

If any fertility treatment results in a living child, then the couple/patient will no longer be considered childless and will not be eligible for further NHS funded fertility treatments, including the implantation of any frozen stored embryos.

 

What happens if you already have a child through fertility treatment?

If you have a child through fertility treatment, you are unfortunately no longer eligible for NHS funded treatment and any onward care you choose must be self-funded.

This information will be outlined to you in any initial funding discussions or correspondence from The Hewitt Fertility Centre.

Please note that although the areas of Vale Royal/Eastern Cheshire and South Cheshire sit under Cheshire and Merseyside, they may have different criteria from above. Please check with your GP or local fertility service.

 

Criteria for Wales

To qualify for up to two cycles of NHS-funded assisted conception treatment, the following criteria must be met:

  • The person undergoing treatment must have started treatment before her 40th birthday. One treatment cycle is available between age 40 and 42 provided no IVF has taken place previously and there is no evidence of low ovarian reserve.
  • Both male and female partners must have a BMI of between 19 and 30.
  • Both partners must be non-smokers.
  • Couples must have no children together (biological or adopted); and one partner must never have had a biological or adopted child.
  • For single women, you must never have had a biological or adopted child.
  • Sub-fertility must not be the direct result of a sterilisation procedure in either partner (this does not include conditions where sterilisation occurs as a result of another medical problem). Couples who have undertaken a reversal of their sterilisation procedure are not eligible for treatment.